Oh the joys of boys! I honestly thought it would be God’s sense of humour to give me a boy. Just so I could – no – would have to conquer the OCD in my life! A boy who would wee in the garden, shake himself off and wipe his wet hands on his pants.
Teaching both boys and girls was an absolute joy – although, I think the boys tended to creep into my heart a lot more than the girls.
Except in one place…the bathroom!
I hate bathrooms on the best of days! They are probably the places where I practise OCD best.
Teaching boys has been an education in the department of wee. My eyes have been opened and frankly, there are times when I have no words to describe or comment on what I’ve witnessed!
I used to stand outside the bathrooms when I first taught. There were separate toilets for the boys and the girls. I was armed with the soap outside and a thick wall separating me from the disaster zone. When things got a little rowdy, I seldom ventured past the door frame. All I dared do was yell for things to pipe down and for them to behave. I regularly had the boys coming out, shoving their way to me to get to tell me their story first, inevitably cross-contaminating me in their haste!
“He peed on me!” cried one, indignantly, showing a stripe of liquid across his hand.
“But…but, he peed on me first,” howled the other, stepping forward to show me wee trailing down his leg.
My face curled in disgust and I’d tell them to wash themselves with soap. Then I’d make sure I steered in wide circles away from them for the rest of the day and wished I could sanitise my eyes because of what I’d just seen!
Weeing on shoes was my worst! It immediately soaked up into the fabric. My instruction…take off your shoes! Run them under the tap. Put them next your bag. Tell your mom to wash them. Wash your hands again! And then, I treated the shoes like Code 2319 in Monsters, Inc and I never went near them again!
What do boys do in there? Start weeing then turn around to have a conversation? The mind reels…
My best, no, worst, was the day three boys came out, loudly voicing their indignation…
“He peed on my arm!” The evidence was there…
“But he peed on my shoe!” Again, I didn’t doubt the words.
And then the cherry-on-top…
A child who spoke no English but had a sense of humour that rivalled many I know marched out, stuck his head forward and with a naughty grin, pointed at his forehead!
That was it! I had no words!
And why do parents not teach their children what to do after they have made a wee? Well, some do. And some despair…Maybe I’ll be one of those moms one day! And some just do what their dads do! Don’t think we teachers don’t know what goes on at home!!
I had three boys standing around a toilet on a school outing. Why I volunteered to take the boys is beyond me! I watched in curious disgust as each boy finished. One pulled up his pants, not ideal but at least his hands stayed clean. The other doesn’t stick out in my head as being gross. But the last! Oh my living! He shook! All I could picture was many millions of tiny droplets all over the bathroom.
And you thought leaving the seat up was a problem!
So now I was educated. I still remained as far from the urinal as I could! Whatever went down there was not something I wished to know about or see! I had seen enough and consequently heard enough stories to want to believe what you can’t see won’t hurt you.
Boys like to aim for things, so I’m told. That’s why some genius invented the frog urinal…yes, go check it out! It’s actually a thing! I’ve been told about sticking stickers on the walls of urinals. Or dropping M ‘n M’s into the toilet. What a waste! I’ve heard about aiming out of the window above the urinal. Or at the extractor fan. Delightful!
I always stood near the exit of the bathroom, ready to make my escape should I need to. I walked on my tiptoes to navigate my way over a wet bathroom floor. And then…it always, always happens! When I least expect it! When I’ve been waiting, determined not to be caught off guard!
(No boy does this any other time of the day. But clearly, the bathroom is a place of bonding! Have you noticed that in all movies? That’s where men bond! Ugh!)
A boy will come up, wrap his unwashed wet hands and arms around my legs, rest his chin on my tummy and look endearingly up at me with big, mushy eyes and say,
“I love you!”
Done! No words!
Tags: boys, hugs, preschool, toileting, urinals, wee